On October 6, my sister and I held our dear mother as she passed into her Lord's arms. We have missed her terribly these sixteen weeks, and can't believe so much time has gone by without her. As she lay there the final weekend, we both talked to her, laughing about old times, and telling her things that were happening in the home where she spent her final weeks. We talked about recipes and kids and the seasons and the holidays coming up, and what was on TV. These things she loved: Notre Dame football, soap operas, cooking, baking, reading, saying her prayers... her grandchildren, large and small. Names were hard for her in her last 3 years, but she could remember faces. Whether she called me "Mother" or by my given name, she always knew me. We watched her grow more childlike with the days, though Alzheimers was never part of the package. Her outside world shrunk to the four walls of a shared room until her final five weeks. We kissed her dear hands frequently, bent with arthritis, the fingers swollen and useless. We watched her poor worn out body try to keep itself going, all the while telling her it was okay to leave us and go to our dad, who had gone on so many years before, and her parents and brothers, whom she missed so terribly. When she finally breathed that last breath... we told her good job, and sat with her until the driver came to take her outer shell away, knowing her soul was already rejoicing. Now we think of things constantly that we would like to tell her... about all the little things that we can no longer ask advice for, or just to talk. Hold tight to your loved ones, because there is finality in our ends. She had a good life, and for that we are very grateful, but love remembers.